Animal lovers of all kinds have a new way to celebrate and immortalize their best friends thanks to the latest in 3D-printing technology and easy online ordering.
The graphic artists at PetPrints 3D ( PetPrints3D.com) create custom, full-colour 3D-printed replicas of your dog, cat, iguana, or even horse (with or without you on it) -- and will do it all in time for holiday giving.
Ashley Saunders is the brand manager for PetPrints 3D, launched in the spring of 2014 in Toronto's west end. She says that when creative people come together, "cool things happen."
"We came to be because we all love animals, unique art pieces, and cool tech," she says. "It started in our shop with a few of our personal pets and gifts for friends. We realized right away that we had something special going on because we started getting emails and calls from pet people all over the place."
The folks at PetPrints 3D now understand far more about the minds and hearts of animal lovers. They are of course vigorous consumers who, according to the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council of Canada, fuel a Canadian pet industry valued at 6.6 billion dollars in 2013.
What's special about PetPrints 3D is the 3D model itself. This is not like going into a store to buy a figurine of a Boston Terrier or Arabian. This is a reproduction of your dog -- her unique markings, her way of sitting, her floppy ear.
"Our goal is to have people gasp when they see it," Saunders says. "If you don't laugh or cry or call your friends over, we haven't done our job."
The process works like this: on the PetPrints 3D website, you submit photos and a description of your favourite animal, whether hound, hare, or horse, either living or passed away. Graphic artists use special software, created in-house, to work up the best possible model of your animal. The design file is sent to the 3D printer, where a gypsum-like material is laid down, layer by layer, to slowly form a unique sculpture. When that's done, finishers work to perfect the detail on the final model.
Ordering is all handled online at PetPrints3D.com and models are shipped to you (or available for pick up in Toronto's west end). Order before December 3 if you want your gift to arrive before Christmas.
Pricing is based on size and complexity. Single-pet models (for example, a sitting dog about four inches tall) begin at $250 + tax. Horse and rider models are sized from about 7.5 inches tall and up, and are priced from $750 + tax.
Using 3D-printing technology to make unique fine art pieces marks a shift in the industry. 3D printers are rarely used outside of the engineering and manufacturing sectors.
"We're in fantastic new territory here, moving people emotionally," says Saunders. "We're creating pieces that mean a great deal to people. They're all telling us how well we captured the personality of their pets and how happy they are to have a lasting keepsake. This is nothing like printing machine parts."
To view the photo of Hamlet please click on the following link: http://www.marketwire.com/library/20141031-Hamlet.jpg
To view the photo of Oscar please click on the following link: http://www.marketwire.com/library/20141031-Oscar.jpg
To view the photo of Ozzy please click on the following link: http://www.marketwire.com/library/20141031-Ozzy.jpg
To view the photo of Snowball please click on the following link: http://www.marketwire.com/library/20141031-Snowball.jpg
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